Doubts Raised about Virginia ObamaCare Decision

The Fourth Circuit threw out the Commonwealth of Virginia’s suit challenging the constitutionality ObamaCare’s individual mandate, but it appears to have done so with a basic error in the facts of the case. Governor Bob McDonnell signed the Virginia law on which the suit is based days before ObamaCare went into effect, not afterward as the Fourth Circuit had it.

Redstaters will know this suit as the Ken Cuccinelli one.

James Lakely of the Heartland Institute said (emphasis added):

The Court said Virginia couldn’t nullify Obamacare because its law doing so was signed by the governor after the president signed his health care bill. Trouble is, Gov. Bob McDonnell signed his bill days before Obama signed his. It was only McDonnell’s public signing ceremony that came afterward.

Maureen Martin, senior fellow for legal affairs at Heartland wrote in the Heartlander that a Fourth Circuit panel “made a ‘rookie’ factual error serious enough to call for invalidation of its entire decision”.

Virginia had enacted a state statute — the Virginia Health Care Freedom Act (VHCFA) — declaring the individual mandate contained in the Obamacare bill did not apply to its citizens. Virginia then filed a lawsuit alleging the individual mandate violates the Commerce Clause of the United States because the federal government lacks the constitutional power to require individual citizens to purchase health insurance or pay a penalty.

But the Appeals Court held last week that Virginia lacked standing, because (as the court erroneously thought) having signed the state law after ObamaCare went into effect meant the state statute was a mere a political attack on it.

Read the rest at Heartland.org.

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